Middletown, NY – Orange Regional Medical Center is reminding local residents to be safe and avoid dangerous hand injuries that may result in an emergency department visit. Every year, Orange Regional sees the same rise in hand injury visits because as the weather warms up, people head outdoors for a variety of activities — including home renovation projects.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 1.8 million visits to the emergency department each year due to hand injuries nationwide. In fact, about 10 percent of all ER visits are due to hand-related injuries, including lacerations, contusions, broken bones and infections. Many of these injuries are due to home improvement activities like sawing, hammering, welding, woodworking and the use of power tools such as drills and handsaws.
To help avoid these complications, Dr. Samir Sodha, a Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery Program surgeon at Orange Regional, recommends a number of safety tips:
- First, users should never disable safety features on their power tools in the name of efficiency, as it’s easier than many people think to slip and seriously hurt themselves.
- Secondly, individuals should be extra careful when holding wood or other materials in place while another person drills or saws, as this is another common scenario in which hand injuries take place.
- Finally, those engaged in home improvement projects should not work while tired or under the influence of alcohol, which can make it much easier to lose focus and cause a trip to the hospital. It’s a common mistake for individuals to drink beer while doing this type of work, especially if friends or family members are helping out.
“In the spring, we see a lot of people throughout the community eager to get outdoors and tackle home improvement projects or simply get out to enjoy the nicer weather,” said Dr. Sodha. “However, we also see many more people coming to Orange Regional with serious hand injuries, which in most cases are preventable by using some standard safety precautions. If you do experience a hand injury, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you think it’s relatively minor. Receiving treatment right away can help prevent long-term nerve or muscle damage.”
Dr. Sodha is one of the region’s leading orthopedic surgeons specializing in hand injuries. He completed his fellowship in hand, elbow and microvascular surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He has more than a decade of experience in this area of practice and regularly treats injuries to the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Dr. Sodha received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Orange Regional Medical Center, located in Middletown, is a member of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System. To learn more about the medical center, visit http://www.ormc.org.